There are lot of things that crave the attention of students and young adults, it could be distractions from surrounding environment or social media, personal issues etc, because of this, it sometimes difficult to concentrate on studying and moreover if you are in a school, be it secondary or higher institution, it is necessary to study for you move to from one level to another to avoid repeating a particular level. Effective studying isn’t about cramming or studying for hours at a stretch, it is about studying smarter.
In today’s discussion, we will be highlighting study habits and tips for effective studying.
Prepare to study
Studying effectively is not all about reading and remembering tips, it also involves taking care of yourself, having a positive mindset and creating a conducive study environment.
Take care of yourself
- Sleep well
- Eat well and drink plenty of water
- Avoid stress
- Laugh often (This could be weird to you seeing this on the list, but it helps to reduce stress, It helps condition your body to have a positive mindset and prepare you for the task ahead)
Have a positive mindset
A lot of students look at studying as a painful task, and not as something to enjoy or another opportunity to learn, that’s fine, this could be due to a lot of reasons, but researchers has found that the way we approach things, really matters a lot.
Ways to have a positive mindset towards study
- Always try to think positively, remind yourself you are special and you have the skills and abilities.
- Avoid catastrophic/negative
- Avoid comparing yourself.
Create A Conducive Study Environment
Creating a conducive study environment is very important in studying effectively, I will highlight the steps in doing this
- Find a good study location
- Ensure where you are studying is properly lit
- Remove all forms of distractions, such as your smartphones, tv, whatever you know that distracts you while reading
- Ensure where you reading is well organized
- Play music with a reduced volume, this is not compulsory, but playing music that has no words such as classical or game soundtracks helps in assimilating
Bring only the necessary materials
Always ensure you bring only the necessary things you need to your study environment. Nothing is more time consuming than running up and down because you forgot an important material you want to study.
Have a study plan
Having a study plan is necessary for effective study.
Know what you want to read/ study.
It depends on the situation at hand, you might choose what you want to study because you have a test coming up in few weeks, or you are finding the subject difficult or you just want to learn more about the subject. It is up to you
Divide what you want to study into small parts.
Dividing what you want to study into small parts is very effective and doing this will reduce the stress in the subject you are studying. You could read one chapter a day or a particular section of the book for particular time frame, this leads us to the third step
Ensure you take breaks
Taking breaks are necessary when studying. It is not advisable to study at a stretch for 16 hours, for every one hour you study you should take a 10 minutes break, this keeps you energetic and doesn’t allow you to wear out. Note you can determine the time frame of your breaks but don’t let it be excessive.
Use a study planner.
Having a study planner gives you a clear sense of how you want your day or week will look like.
The primary way we gain knowledge is by reading. Let’s delve into one of the most popular tips for learning which is SQ3R
Have a comprehensive overview of what you are going to study. Know the purpose of the material, if it is going to be useful for what you the subject you are studying or not.
Asking questions while studying and find the answers is an effective way to study and it keeps you focused. Think about the what, where, when and how of the material, when you do these it will be easier for you to understand and memorize the content of the material
Ensure you read actively to answer the questions you have asked yourself or to answer the questions in the material.
R – Recite
Connect the new information you are reading to things you already know, try to understand the material you are studying in your own words. Then see if you can answer the questions in the material or the one you asked yourself, if you fail to look at the material again till you can answer them without looking at the material.
Review all that you have learned, answer the material questions or the questions you asked yourself, you can explain what you have read to ensure it sticks to your memory.
Have an effective study note
It is important you have a study note so that you can jot down the major points, rewrite the definition of terms in simpler terms you can understand, etc. While it is welcomed to copy a friends outline or note, it is important you translate them into your own word because failure to do this often cause students to forget some important terms.
Always ensure to keep your study notes in good order
Practice by yourself or with friendsPractice makes perfect. Click To Tweet
You can practice yourself by testing yourself with past examination questions or with questions in the material you are studying. It is also effective you practice with friends, this also makes information stick longer in your memory. Ensure you also compare notes with your friends to ensure you haven’t missed any critical points.
Know the expectations of the lecturer/ teacher
Different lecturers/teachers have different expectations from their students. While attending all classes and taking good notes are necessary, it is also important to know the pattern and the requirement the lecturer uses to give the final grade, knowing this will really help in achieving a very good grade.
On a final note, studying isn’t just about passing exams alone, studying is an effort to learn something new. So while you are still going to classes to learn something that you might zero interest in, you should still look for interesting things to take away from every experience.